By Arul Louis
United Nations, Sep 19 (IANS) Vowing to stop “radical Islamic terrorism,” US President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday of strong action against countries that support or finance organisations like the Taliban.
“It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Taliban and the others that slaughter innocent people,” he said in his first speech to the the General Assembly.
But he stopped short of naming countries other than Iran unlike in the last month’s speech outlining the Afghan strategy when he named Pakistan saying it had much to lose by harbouring terrorists.
Here on Tuesday he focused on terrorism in the Middle East, while also warning about the Taliban. He said that the US and its allies were working throughout the region “to crush loser terrorists” and “stop the emergence of safe havens” for terror groups.
But he referred to the new Afghanistan strategy, saying: “I have also totally changed the rules of engagement against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.”
“From now our security interests will dictate the length and scope of our military action” in Afghanistan he said, and “not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables”.
Accentuating his warning on terrorism, Trump said: “Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.”
“Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems and alliances that prevented conflict and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II,” he added.
Challenging the world leaders listening to his speech, he declared: “We meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.”
(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])
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